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September 23, 2020

Availability, fair price of wheat, sugar should be ensured: PM Imran Khan

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September 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: A meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan here Tuesday, reviewed the situation in relation to gas supply and demand, particularly in December and January and steps discussed to overcome the situation.

Sindh was being requested for the right of way for the proposed gas pipeline for additional supply of the gas. The meeting deliberated upon on the current situation of gas supply and demand in the country and the situation in the next few months. The meeting was attended by Industries Minister Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Energy Minister Umar Ayub, Finance Advisor Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Trade Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant for Petroleum Nadeem Babar and other senior officials.

A briefing was given to the meeting on the current situation of gas supply and demand in the country, reduction in local gas production, arrangements to meet the demand for gas. Briefing was given on the gap between gas supply and demand in the next few months, especially in December and January, and the steps to be taken to overcome this situation.

The prime minister was informed that due to the reduction in local gas production and the difference in the prices of domestic and imported gas, all the provincial governments have to meet the gas needs of the next few months, especially the needs of domestic consumers. In this connection, the provinces full cooperation is required.

The meeting was informed that laying of new pipeline would ensure supply of 100-150mmcfd gas. In this regard, a request is being made to the Sindh government on the issue of right of way so that it can be implemented as soon as possible.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister directed that in view of the gap in supply and demand of gas in the next few months, a public awareness campaign on possible gas savings should be launched.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan was told Tuesday that 1.5 million tons of wheat was being imported at the government level while 330,000 metric tons had been tendered and more tendered were being floated. Moreover, the commodity was being imported through a government to government agreement.

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a review meeting on the availability and prices of wheat and sugar in the country, which was attended by Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam and other.

TCP (Trading Corporation of Pakistan) chairman briefed the meeting on wheat import and the related process. The prime minister was informed that about four lakh metric tons of wheat had been imported by the private sector so far. Another 1 million tons will reach the country next month.

A detailed report on the situation of availability of wheat in the country, progress so far in private and public imports was submitted to the prime minister. Regarding the availability of sugar, it was informed that the import of sugar is going on as per the decision of the government and it is being ensured that there is no shortage in the supply and demand of sugar.

Chief Secretary Punjab said that sugar mills have been directed to start crushing by November 15. Under the law, delaying the crushing process will result in a fine of Rs5 lakh per day. Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said that wheat and sugar are the basic needs of the people so their availability and fair price should be ensured.

The premier directed that adequate availability of wheat should be ensured keeping in view the needs of the country. He directed that they be kept abreast of the progress in wheat imports.

Meanwhile, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail met with Prime Minister Imran Khan. Sindh Provincial Assembly members Haleem Adil Sheikh and Saifullah Nyazee were also present in the meeting.

The meeting discussed issues related to early implementation of Karachi Transformation Plan, including the Fourth Plan. The people of Sindh province and especially Karachi are praising Prime Minister Imran Khan's efforts for the development and prosperity of the province. The prime minister directed Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Haleem Adil Sheikh to take all possible steps to meet the needs of the people in the flood-affected areas of Sindh province.